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Thought I would share this recently finished project with you all. '


I forged the blade in late summer from 5160 , hand filed to finish. I suppose it could be classified as a seax, although the upswept blade profile is not what is viewed as being a 'traditional' seax shape.Plenty of historical finds to validate the shape ,though. Fittings are wrought iron, and the handle is blackened chestnut.


Sheath was a challenge ,I hadn't tried repousse before, so it took a few tries to get a result that was at least presentable. And please don't ask me about peening those rivets in between the repousse lines. Sanity is slowly coming back now.


The project was not without mistakes and compromises, but I was fairly satisfied with how the whole set ended up.... one thing I do regret is not getting much character out of the wrought. It ended up just looking like mild steel.


I'd love to hear what you all think.


seax1.jpg

beltknife9.jpg

beltknife8.jpg

seax4.jpg

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Beautiful work, even the photos are excellent. Those carvings on the blade add a great touch.

 

Did you acid etch the wrought? I've got some really boring stuff and found that the cold-blue/bleach routine and a soak in acid helps to liven it up a little. Not much you can do with the stuff, but anything's better than nothing.

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Very nice! Love the repousse and colors of the whole package. It's definitely right at home in the viking knife aesthetic. And I have to second Alan, that ring looks like you spent a lot of time filing very carefully...

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Thank you for the kind words,everyone...

 

The ring was actually fairly painless to make. I simply cold forged some heavy gauge copper wire to a square cross section, then hot twisted it in a vice (imagine a tiny twisted billet) . I then formed the ring shape over a mandrel, cut and soft soldered (the joint is hidden under the hanger in the pictures). The solder job wasn't as clean as I would have liked ,and I did have to spend some time filing there , but it wasn't as hard or time consuming as you might think. But you guys can all keep thinking I filed the whole thing to shape ... makes me sound hardcore . ;)

 

In regards to the wrought, I did give it some soak time in muriatic acid, but nothing too dramatic happened. The iron was nicely compacted from hot forging the guard , and muriatic isn't that aggressive . I guess I could have done some twisting to the material before I forged it. Will be approaching things differently next time . The cold blue/ bleach routine sounds interesting.

Edited by Isaac Humber
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All of it really nice, I like it.

May I ask what thickness this copper is on the sheath? How did stamp the lines so even? Also I like the copper ring as Alan commented. Most of the time my copper is shearing before I can finish a shape, that's why I am asking all such questions.

 

Gary

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This entire 'set' is a sure-thing winner. I like everything you did plus the package as a whole. Very fine planning and execution and style.

Most times I see one or two things that don't 'flow' in my mind. You nailed this one completely! Thanks, too, for the great camera work.

Dave

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Good looking knife! What did you use for the repousse?

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My grandfather ran a sheet metal business in Los Angeles , and when he died, my father inherited some of his tools and materials (I guess metalworking runs in the family ). The copper I have is industry standard for doing copper rain gutters, and from my research I believe it is 16oz , or .0216" in thickness. In other words, it is quite thin, and that is what you want for repousse . However, if you are having problems with the metal cracking, then more frequent annealing needs to be done.

 

In regards to my techniques, the whole idea to try repousse was rather spontaneous , so I simply modified some tools that I had, like rounding the ends of chisels. I also made a few tools to get in the corners and such. Professional repousse artists do their work over a special forming "pitch" that deforms under the metal. I just used the end of a doug fir timber. To get everything straight was just working carefully, and I sketched out the design on the material before I started. I included a couple of photos* for a better idea of what the process looked like.

 

* note. The copper sheet under the tools in the first photo is a different thickness than what I used for the actual work.

repousse2.jpg

FotoFlexer_Photo.jpg

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